How to Set Performance Goals for Senior Management

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Performance goals help senior managers boost their productivity.
Performance goals help senior managers boost their productivity. (Image: senior businessman image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com)

A company’s senior managers set goals for the firm as a whole. They envision both creative and financial performance goals for themselves, and for specific departments and employees. Bearing this responsibility may seem like a chore at first, but with careful planning and a flexible approach, senior managers can achieve or surpass their own goals and motivate employees to do the same. Corporate executives lead by example, and setting definite performance goals helps a business improve profits and productivity.

Things You'll Need

  • Planning software
  • Day Runner
  • Mobile phone applications

Define managerial objectives. Brainstorm with other executives and the company’s movers and shakers to determine long-term goals for the business and what part senior management will play in the achievement of these objectives. According to the article “How to Set Business Goals," in the June 29, 2010 issue of Inc. Magazine, identify long-term customer service, philanthropic, profit-based and company expansion goals. Some companies prefer a five-year, long-term plan, while others consider quarterly planning to be long-term.

Focus on the day-to day activities needed to achieve short-term goals. Every senior manager or chief executive has different skills to offer on a daily basis. Sales managers motivate employees and hone selling techniques that can be practiced by employees. Senior creative managers are in charge of approving artwork, purchasing the best graphic software to implement projects, and hiring artists and writers. Describe the methods that each senior manager will use to achieve daily and weekly goals.

Study market trends. The business climate ebbs and flows, both economically and creatively, and senior managers must learn to adjust the way they go about achieving goals. If an advertising manager’s goal is to introduce a new product to a foreign market, he must keep abreast of business developments within that country and adjust either the product specifications or timing of the its release, should conditions change.

Use the SMART acronym to clearly state performance goals. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Human Resources Department, there are five key components in any performance goal. It must be specific to a particular person and timeframe, measurable in terms of money or time, achievable or set within a realistic performance criteria and time range, relevant to the long-term goal, and time-bound within a set deadline. The first letter of each component spells out the word “smart," making the formula easy to remember.

Implement productivity reminders. Use a daily or weekly time management chart to track meetings, report deadlines, and other goal objectives. There are a variety of products available, like day planners, time management software for computers, mobile phone applications and printable forms to keep performance goals at hand during busy times. This will lessen the chance of getting off-course by daily distractions and busy-work.

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